We cling to control as a survival strategy. The opportunity of a lifetime is to embrace totality. Then you’re embracing yourself. We are deeply, profoundly conditioned to only embrace what is pertinent to the survival of the body. Or if we are emotional creatures, what is pleasurable. Or if we’re social creatures, what gives us power. But to embrace the totality, whether that’s chaos or harmony is irrelevant at any one point because you’re embracing yourself.
GF Topic: Spiritual Practice
June 5, 1994, Boulder, CO
This video from the archives includes many lively interactions, the heart of which is the topic of effort and effortlessness. If you feel that realizing the truth of your being requires effort, then eventually you will find yourself exhausted and disillusioned. Are you efforting to know who you are?
“Effort is what we are taught, it’s what we do, it’s what we believe is necessary. We are most afraid to stop effort because that would be the unknown. What I am speaking about cannot be ‘done’ and cannot be ‘known.’ You are never separate from it; it is already the truth of who you are—pure pristine awareness, effortlessly as it is, limitless and un-findable as a particular entity.
In this clip, Gangaji speaks to why she has appeared in your consciousness: not to fix you or teach you or convert you in any way. “My only function is to invite your individual consciousness to reflect back into the spaciousness that it arises from.” She goes on to examine the challenges to this that arise from the addiction of following thought as reality, and the remedy that her teacher Papaji gave her
I am inviting you to stop imagining what it is you need to get fixed, or what obstacle you need to get rid of, or how you need to get deeper, or how you need to be awake a hundred percent of the time. All of that is still within the realm of imagining a problem, imagining that there are certain benchmark measurements. Problems do appear in lives and there are measurements. But I am inviting you to engage in an experiment and investigation of really, really just immediately being at home.
Today that is heresy. It is called the “spiritual bypass,” and it is heresy. In our current secular/spiritual dogma, you are not allowed to take the bypass. You have to go into the garbage dump, and you have to dig through, to go through all the ancestry. But I am here to tell you that you are allowed to take the bypass. You are free to go digging wherever you would like to go, but you aren’t required to. You can go immediately home, because home is where you are. It is what is always here.
Santa Monica, California
Is there a secret to discovering true and lasting fulfillment, here and now and forevermore? Gangaji shares her experience of her teacher’s astonishingly simple instruction that revealed the truth of lasting fulfillment.
“It’s so simple! I was always considering: what can I get here, what can I keep here, or what can I keep away from here. When he said find out what is already and always here. It was shocking to me.”
Discover for yourself the fulfillment that is always here, no matter what comes and goes.
“If you think you have to fix yourself to come home to yourself, I’m telling you this is not true. It’s a dangerous lie that will cause you to suffer unnecessarily. When suffering becomes your business, your allegiance to it steals your lifeblood and whatever time you have left.”
Are you aware of the mental habits that cause you suffering? Especially the habit of trying to “fix” yourself? Gangaji asks us to stop trying to fix what will always be subject to change, to put down the burden of business as usual, and discover the capacity we have to meet it all. Whether you see yourself as the victim or the perpetrator in your own story of suffering, you can stop trying to fix it. You can say “Ha! I quit!”
There is so much suffering caused by the practice of desire. If you practice desire, you suffer…it’s as simple as that. Even the desire for happiness can turn your mind away from true freedom, into investigation. To want anything to last for ever is to overlook what is always here.
Have you ever experienced a violation or betrayal that you felt robbed you of innocence? In this video Gangaji speaks to when wounding or hopelessness, self-hatred or cynicism, appear to veil the indestructible purity and innocence of who we are in the core.
“When there is a willingness to simply burn up in face of all betrayal, violation, self-hatred, and self-theory, without moving to fix it, make it nice, make it comfortable, or make it spiritual, there is the possibility of recognizing that in the very core of oneself is the purity that is still pure. No experience to you or from you can violate that.”
The desire for true freedom which appears in your lifetime can only be realized if you don’t do anything for it’s realization. We are given lots of things to do because we don’t believe that. Gangaji describes her own experience of attempting many practices that did not serve to take away the underlying longing for freedom. When she met Papaji he told her to stop…All that is required is one instant of truly stopping.
Tyalgum Tops, Australia, November 23, 1996 AM
How is it possible you can experience what the great mystics have described throughout time? Does it really take decades of spiritual practice for grace to descend and open your mind? In this video Gangaji shares a delightful fable that points to the imminent possibility of your direct realization, here and now, exactly as you are.
“Stop. Be still. See what is already here. Hear what is already seen. However large and treacherous the Mountain Range of Illusion may appear, it remains only the Mountain Range of Illusion. However murky and disgusting the Lake of Misidentity appears, it is only the Lake of Misidentity. The opening, this cave of your heart, is waiting for you. The invitation has been given. You are welcome in.”